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Who Plays Waleed On Ms. Marvel?

Now closer to its Season 1 finale than its Disney+ debut, "Ms. Marvel" continues to thrill superhero fans and introduce characters and storylines unlike anything we've seen thus far from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

As Kamala (Iman Vellani) gears up to fight alongside her idol Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) in the forthcoming big-screen affair "The Marvels," her hands remain full on the small screen as the teenage hero struggles with questions of faith, legacy, her newfound superpowers, and surviving your run-of-the-mill high school drama. As is the case in the Marvel Comics books which inspired "Ms. Marvel," Kamala is aided in some of those struggles by a fellow masked crimefighter called Red Dagger (Aramis Knight), who is part of a band of Pakistani vigilantes led by an enigmatic figure called Waleed.    

Episode 4 of "Ms. Marvel" finally gave a face to the man who calls the shots for the Red Daggers. For many, the actor who plays Waleed on "Ms. Marvel" will likely be a totally fresh face. However, if you have an affinity for Bollywood, he may have looked familiar.  

Farhan Akhtar is a major player on the Bollywood scene

The actor who plays Waleed on "Ms. Marvel" is Farhan Akhtar. While "Ms. Marvel" is his first proper project stateside, Akhtar has become a legit star of Indian cinema over the past two decades. In that span, he's sung, danced, fought, and fallen in love in more than a dozen films covering virtually every genre. That includes recent hits like the family drama "The Sky is Pink" (alongside Priyanka Chopra Jonas), and the Amazon Prime Video boxing thriller "Toofaan."

Akhtar's Bollywood credits also extend well beyond the sphere of acting. In fact, the star has given new meaning to term "multi-hyphenate," earning numerous credits as a writer, producer, and several other behind-the-camera positions. He's also directed four feature films, with his fifth, "Jee Le Zaraa," reportedly set to shoot in 2022. Akhtar is also a staunch activist, and in 2013, he launched the Men Against Rape and Discrimination campaign, geared toward promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women (per The Times of India). 

As for Akhtar's role on "Ms. Marvel," things obviously took an unexpected turn for Waleed in Episode 4, but we'd be very surprised if we've seen the last of the Red Daggers' shot-caller. Either way, per an Instagram post, Akhtar is grateful for the opportunity to join the MCU. And it seems his younger co-star was already a fan of his work, as Iman Vellani admitted in a video posted on the DisneyPlus Hotstar YouTube channel, "It's crazy that I grew up watching him, and now I am working with him."